Wondering if I can get input on an article about depression

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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby KathleenBrugger » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:08 pm

rachMiel wrote:Yes! A disorder status too. I have ADD. I'm cooler, I have ADHD. I win: ADHD + social anxiety disorder and I've got the prescriptions to prove it! That kind of thing.

Good one! That is so true and so perverse.

I am sympathetic to what you are saying about heroes, treasuretheday. A hero can inspire us to be a better person, to be more courageous in speaking our mind, to persevere in hardship, to be a more loving and kinder person, etc.

Just this morning I had this experience. I listened to some of John Stewart's (The Daily Show) interview with Malala Yousafzai (the Pakistani young woman shot by the Taliban). What Malala said was inspirational to me about the power of love: that love is always more enduring than hate.

Stewart asked when she had realized the Taliban had made her a target. Malala answered: "I started thinking about that and thinking the Talib would come and he would kill me. But then I said, if he comes, 'what would you do, Malala?' then I replied to myself 'take a shoe and hit him.' But then I said 'If you hit a Talib with your shoe then there's no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and harshly. You must fight others but through peace, dialogue, and education.'" (3:45 - 5:00 in part 1 of extended interview; http://www.thedailyshow.com/extended-interviews/429631/playlist_tds_extended_malala_yousafzai/429609)

Martin Luther King and Gandhi are heroes in this same vein. They've inspired countless people to be better versions of themselves.

There are definitely problems associated with heroes. When we idolize someone and forget that they have flaws too, we diminish their humanity and make it harder for ourselves to be like them. It can also have a negative impact on the idolized person. They start believing they are somehow superhuman and the power makes them arrogant, or they take advantage. Gurus have been brought down by their devotees in this way.
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby rachMiel » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:56 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:
rachMiel wrote:Yes! A disorder status too. I have ADD. I'm cooler, I have ADHD. I win: ADHD + social anxiety disorder and I've got the prescriptions to prove it! That kind of thing.

Good one! That is so true and so perverse.

We decorate our prison cells, often quite beautifully. Most of us, I'd guess, prefer their cozy cells to freedom. Lifers.
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:16 am

Treasure said: But not all people live heroically!

Not all people are faced with the opportunity,

nor blessed with the skills, the awareness, or the capacity.
What one calls heroic another may call stupid, perspective and capacity and opportunity is part of what 'happens', and part of what we fear might happen.


Jen said: If the greatest thing a person can achieve in this moment, is to put one foot in front of the other and remember to breathe, that is enough. If the only 'solution' a person can see is to end their mortal suffering, that is their reality, within their capacity, awareness. It stands to reason that one who is not capable of being rational, is unable to make rational decisions. The flip side of this is that one who is making rational decisions does so through capacity.

KBrooke said: I REALLY appreciated this comment, Jen. This offered a lot of clarity to me. Especially since, after I read a bit about Frankl, I immediately felt a surge of self-hatred, guilt, shame, and harsh comparisons. I can barely get myself out of bed without wanting to slash my wrists most mornings and here is this man who finds himself in a concentration camp(s) and is able to stay present. I know that comparisons are not helpful, but I find myself at the mercy of them right now. So, when I read what you just wrote (above) it really spoke to me and I am trying to keep that in mind. I do tend to compare myself to the "heros" in this world such as Frankl and I become more deeply engrossed in depression when I do. But I feel compelled to do it and it feels almost out of my control. I thank you for sharing all of this insight you have.

This is one of the reasons I so passionately speak out against judging the path of another - as in Desiderata one will always find (aspects) better or worse than oneself.

If I may, J, with great hugs of compassion, meet the man a little closer on his own turf - not what you assume his story holds, not what others say of him or what it says to them, but what he says directly to you from his story.

I held off from reading it even though I'd read about it, and even borrowed very wise quotes from him where they hit a chord and made sense to me. His actual story is beautifully acceptingly written, his vulnerabilities and coping strategies shared in a way that those in pain will still be able to resonate with. He admits his own moments of despair and distractions. He admits that he takes pride in sharing his hard labour stories of suffering and pain, as a former comfortably accommodated academic and psychiatrist he never knew the capacity that he actually could harness and employ by making meaning greater than his own experiences, if required. He shares that he did things and thought things that his moral reasoning cannot quite catch up with, he discusses guilt, weaknesses, unpalatable acceptances.. I cannot possibly express the worth of this with the accuracy that he does.

I feel sure that he absolutely would support the notion that you loved from above, from his own observations of what it takes at times just to survive - and he is talking, in his own words of the 'multitude of small torments', not the big ticket items that seem far removed from every day survival and freedom in our minds. We may all strive for high ideals and face disappointing ourselves and others when reality blows our moral supports out from under us. He knew how lucky he was to have been moved from a camp just days before cannibalism became the last bastion of survival. How fortunate he was to not have to be faced with that decision. If I may, let him share his perspective with you, before you make any judgements about his or your own capacity with the knowledge he had, and has shared. It's really just not fair on either of you before that.

I would say the same of any one admired or demonised for responses to situations, one cannot know what one would do in their shoes, or what the person has actually done or thought or felt in their own shoes. It is always both better and worse than anyone else can imagine.

That article originally posted has an updated follow up (linked in the original article), and the author admits that they did not mean to be so harsh in the first one, and they've clarified their perspective more from responses and questions to the first article. Even so, it is their perspective, from their capacity, in their experiences. It is a theoretical application of spiritual knowledge towards un-experienced physical and mental suffering - how accurate can it really be?


Kathleen said: There are definitely problems associated with heroes. When we idolize someone and forget that they have flaws too, we diminish their humanity and make it harder for ourselves to be like them.
It can also have a negative impact on the idolized person. They start believing they are somehow superhuman and the power makes them arrogant, or they take advantage. Gurus have been brought down by their devotees in this way.

There is a third 'problem' Kathleen and it is the base of both of these problems, perspectives, external opinions are taken to be truth, and they are not true, they are value laden judgements.

We are all unique, precious individuals walking our own path, in our own shoes, heroes and villains in our own lives.
In order to make a hero of another, people must believe that they know the experience, the substance, the value, the lessons, the nuances of an experience of another, they build a wall of separation not realising that what they are seeing and thinking is through their own lens of experience, within their own capacity - tested or untested, known or unknown, and what they imagine the experience to contain is nothing at all like the original experiencer's experience of it. It never can be, it is only imagined.

We all go through our experiences one moment at a time, we all put one foot in front of the other with the capacity we have available to us, and this is growing and tested with every new experience, even new experiences of old or well known to self experiences. When one accepts that one way causes suffering, and when that suffering has our attention, we choose anew. We all, will only know our capacity when we use it, and we all, will only use it when and if an experience asks it of us.

A hero can inspire us to be a better person, to be more courageous in speaking our mind, to persevere in hardship, to be a more loving and kinder person, etc.

If we didn't have the capacity in the first place we wouldn't even consider these things 'positive' or worthy of aspiring to. It won't make us a 'better' person, it will still just be us responding to what is, with what we know and have in capacity.

By all means learn from others, ask questions (I always want to know where/how they went to the toilet, that we all need to know in a variety of situations :wink:) - allow another's wisdom and hindsight to be your foresight when applicable, but don't falsely believe that they got there any other way than you will. And when you do, you won't recognise it as heroism either, you'll know you are just doing what you can with what you have. There is no credit or blame here.

Believing that they are xyz, instead of momentarily employing the skills & perspectives of xyz is the biggest problem of all for one who would make hero / villain / victim of anyone, or enemy / obstacle / means to an end of a person, thing or situation, even them self.

In part, ironically that's what the dude in the original article kinda said about labels, and interestingly he does come to the same conclusion as Frankl, that in order to make meaning of life one needs to focus on something bigger than 'self'. Albeit, I prefer Frankl's version of that.
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby treasuretheday » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:27 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:Good one! That is so true and so perverse.
Yes, and bizarre.

Ah, Kathleen, thank you for speaking of Malala! Yes, she is such a light! I saw that amazing interview, and heard her on NPR last week too. Wow.
smiileyjen101 wrote:Treasure said: But not all people live heroically!
Not all people are faced with the opportunity, nor blessed with the skills, the awareness, or the capacity.

I think all people are faced with the opportunity. I think all people are blessed with the capacity, and as I was getting at earlier, I think that awareness and skill can be cultivated. There are forces in our culture that don't support that awareness and skill-building, but no matter; those influences, powerful though they may be, needn't dictate our lives.

I am sorry that Kbrooke sees darkness where others find light, anguish, where others see hope.
smiileyjen101 wrote:This is one of the reasons I so passionately speak out against judging the path of another
This is one of the reasons I so passionately speak out for appreciating the heroic path of another! And admiring the responses of one person in no way requires "demonizing" the responses of another!

Surely there are those who will see another's "admirable responses" to adversity as 'proof positive' of the depth and breadth of their own 'shortcomings.' They will point to the "admirable" example as 'evidence,' not of what is possible for them too, but of what a pathetic, hopeless case they are.

But many are awakened, encouraged, educated, uplifted and strengthened by the brilliance of their fellows. They don't feel they are standing in another's shadow, but moreover, discover that a path of their own has been lit for them. In this light, they see and claim and exercise their own innate brilliance.

allow another's wisdom and hindsight to be your foresight when applicable, but don't falsely believe that they got there any other way than you will. And when you do, you won't recognise it as heroism either

Well, I may. After being 'educated' about the perils and pitfalls of regarding someone as a hero, in my view, it is still a useful term to express delight, admiration and appreciation. If that prompts someone out there to feel demeaned, threatened or repulsed, I can't help that. I cannot speak for everyone, I can only speak for myself.
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:54 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote:
Treasure said: But not all people live heroically!
Jen said: Not all people are faced with the opportunity, nor blessed with the skills, the awareness, or the capacity.

Treasure said: I think all people are faced with the opportunity. I think all people are blessed with the capacity, and as I was getting at earlier, I think that awareness and skill can be cultivated. There are forces in our culture that don't support that awareness and skill-building, but no matter; those influences, powerful though they may be, needn't dictate our lives.

This is an interesting discussion, thanks for staying with it.

My curiosity goes two ways -
Tell me about those that you see as not living heroically - give us an example,

and then tell us how it feels to judge them so - inside you, how does that feel?

It's easy to gush and throw compliments and think that is not judging, it's less easy to sit on the other end of the see-saw and not see that there are elements of the character and experience that one cannot accurately discern from our perspective. Unless one thinks they can, who / what is this in expression? Whatever is in expression in this end of the see-saw is exactly the same element on the other end of the see-saw.

The second thing is that for every hero there must be a villain and a victim. You cannot have one without making (believing your perspective) so of another. What really occurs is enacting an idea bigger than oneself. If folks then keep putting attention on the self, the potential of the idea also becomes confined in perspectives.

For instance Malala faced a situation and has a higher, bigger than her self sense of purpose in her life, formal education opportunities and support for females in the face of opposition to it - but not even she is aware of all the nuances of it and consequences of it if her aim is realised.
It is an idea, an inspiration, an imagination.

Yes it's an idea that has been fought for and adopted elsewhere, but is that 'system' the best it can be or can it be improved upon using others hindsight? What parts of education for females is she inspired by? It could be the fashions of the 90210 girls for all we know :wink:

What of the little boy being raised within the constraints of the Talib - who is indoctrinated and truly believes that to educate females exposes them to a material and personal sense of competition and demeans their essence of perfection? How does he be a hero? What are all the elements of the ideas that inspire him? Is there maybe something in this that might be able to better the experience of education?

How is our indoctrination any different? Is there anything in this struggle that we might learn from?

Maybe what I've found is that rather than concentrate attention on the 'person', or the 'event' - the thing that got them through, the thing that ignited passion and commitment and response ability was an idea, greater than them self.
So here in this situation is an idea, or a clash of ideas really - instead of focussing on personalities why not elevate the thinking to a level of curiosity about the idea?

That's the frustration that I feel whether I am, or others are being hailed hero or villain because I express and want to share perspectives on the ideas, and if folks can't get passed the person or the event they will totally miss the idea.
And nobody, not one body owns or generates ideas in isolation. Many have the same idea, many build on ideas and use others experiences as their foresight.

Let's not talk about Malala and the Talib, as heroes and villains, let us talk about education in a way that inspires Malala and the Talib.
Let's not talk about Frankl and Hitler, as heroes and villains, let us talk about fear and power and war and torture in a way that would inspire Frankl and Hitler.
Let us not talk about Ghandi, let us talk about negotiating in peace in a way that would inspire Ghandi.
Let us not talk about Jesus, or Buddha, or ET - let us talk about awareness in a way that would inspire them.

Can you see the difference?
The frustration is immense when you are trying to discuss 'this', because of an experience of 'that' and you built upon an idea that inspired you, and all folks want to do is make hero or villain or excuses and distortions of perspective, all designed, knowingly or unknowingly to distract you and them from facing the potential of the idea.

How do you implement the ideas that Frankl built upon? That's all he was doing implementing in his own experiences the ideas of others and then sharing how that worked - what helped, what hurt more, what was of benefit what was of a hindrance, what was learned in mistakes, what was absorbed as achieving the goals, what were the goals in hindsight?

How do you build upon and implement the ideas of Ghandi in your own life? Jesus? Buddha? Hitler? (I really would love his idea of planting fruit trees in public spaces to be implemented to ease vitamin deficiency in those in need. Ignoring this idea because he was a labelled villain - is that reasonable, rational? Is the opposition to it in any way related to the frustrations and fears of those who profit from food production?)

From your experiences what issues do you see in education for females that Malala has no idea about yet? How do you reconcile that some of what the Talib fear is true? How might education evolve if we don't make hero and villain, but we instead discuss and reconcile their perspectives for the greater good?

We face the future fortified with the lessons we have learned from the past. It is today that we must create the world of the future. Spinoza, I think, pointed out that we ourselves can make experience valuable when, by imagination and reason, we turn it into foresight. Eleanor Roosevelt.


Are we there yet? NO!! Then keep working on the ideas!! what helped, what hurt more, what was of benefit what was of a hindrance, what was learned in mistakes, what was absorbed as achieving the goals, what were the goals?
If you cut through the distractions, ^ is what life is really made up of.

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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby treasuretheday » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:49 pm

I also refer to some people as 'angels.' I have even referred to a few as saints, and they haven't even been canonized.
smiileyjen101 wrote:The second thing is that for every hero there must be a villain and a victim. You cannot have one without making (believing your perspective) so of another.
There is space in my vocabulary for terms of endearment. There is space in my world for frivolity, light-heartedness. I don't walk on eggshells as I choose my words, selecting only the proper ones that will meet with the Goodhousekeeping seal of approval.

As those who 'speak' to me capture my heart and imagination, I readily speak of them as hero, angel, saint, sage. That does not mean that I thereby declare all others inferior to these beings who have touched my soul! Remember:
smiileyjen101 wrote:We are all unique, precious individuals walking our own path,

Maybe it is my path, my 'calling' to speak from the heart . The more intellectually inclined can pick apart my words and decide they are politically incorrect. But, as they analyze and place things under a microscope, I know that another person can never speak with any authority about where I am coming from, what my words REALLY mean. It is an interesting experience to be told with such conviction what I really mean, what my heart-felt intention is.

Tell me about those that you see as not living heroically...tell us how it feels to judge them so - inside you, how does that feel?

My premise throughout this thread has been that today's psychologized society does not support or encourage 'living heroically.' Moreover, it has made doing so quite difficult. The deck is stacked against us when half the time doctors are blotting out the symptoms of depression with drugs, and the other half they are promoting the cause by telling us how helpless and fragile we are in the face of any sort of adversity. "You have a disease, depression, but there is treatment." Yay. Let's get enmeshed with depression! We have been taught to trust and respect people with lots of letters after their names, so when these highly-esteemed professionals serve up insanity on a silver platter, we buy it.

So, in the process there has been a cultural shift. We have been assisted in trading---courage, resilience, individuality, creativity: in essence, our God-given capacities for living heroically, for the dubious distinction of being a well-managed population on drugs. The self must be asserted, but instead it is being squelched. How do I feel about judging the pharmaceutical and psyche communities? I won't lose any sleep over it.

So, I am judgemental. ..part of the path I must tread for now. This judgement-free world you dwell in is not the world I inhabit! Congratulations Jen, you have citizenship, but I am not even in the zone!
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby KathleenBrugger » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:55 pm

It is true Smileyjen, that many of the people we call "heroes" have ideas that are powerful and can be separated from the person. But I think there is more. Many of these people have made personal sacrifices for an idea. Many have even laid their life on the line. Gandhi and MLK were assassinated. Malala was shot and permanently scarred. That takes their level of commitment beyond the zone of "ideas."

You also claim that any discussion of "hero" is judgmental. To talk about judgment I think it is useful to separate the absolute from the ordinary physical level we live on. On the absolute level yes, there are no heroes or villains. Everyone is a perfect expression of the One within the Divine Play, whatever that turns out to be. On the ordinary, physical level, critical judgment is something we employ every minute of every day: "Can I sleep another 5 minutes and still get to work on time?" "Hamburgers or spaghetti for dinner?" or "Go to the rally for social justice or watch TV?"

In every moment we judge something to be better or more important than something else. You can't avoid it. You can only recognize that it is a useful device for living in the world while at the same time remembering that in the realm of the absolute, everything is of equal value.

We honor people who have done heroic deeds, with things like the Nobel Peace Prize, or in the US the Congressional Medal of Honor, because we want to build a society in which people act honorably. Through creating models of heroism we encourage people to manifest that in their lives.

Just recently a young girl in Florida committed suicide after a year of horrible cyber-bullying. A 14-year-old girl bragged on Facebook that she did the bullying and is now in jail. I have an 11-year-old niece. I will encourage her to be inspired not by the bully but by Malala; that's judgmental yes but on this plane of reality I think that's a useful, pragmatic judgment.

treasuretheday wrote:My premise throughout this thread has been that today's psychologized society does not support or encourage 'living heroically.' Moreover, it has made doing so quite difficult. The deck is stacked against us when half the time doctors are blotting out the symptoms of depression with drugs, and the other half they are promoting the cause by telling us how helpless and fragile we are in the face of any sort of adversity...
So, in the process there has been a cultural shift. We have been assisted in trading---courage, resilience, individuality, creativity: in essence, our God-given capacities for living heroically, for the dubious distinction of being a well-managed population on drugs. The self must be asserted, but instead it is being squelched.

Well-said. I think living heroically can be as simple as what you said earlier, Smilyjen, "putting one foot in front of the other." I have been a utopianist all my life and I dream of a society which celebrates all people as heroic contributors. The person who collects your garbage is a vitally important part of making the social system work, and he or she would be embraced by my future society. A heroic garbageman would do his job with care and skill.

You could maybe define "hero" as someone who is fully expressing their talents and gifts without fears. This idea of hero doesn't make villains, it doesn't make anyone else less of a person, it is a description of a person who has gone past their fears and inhibitions to be themselves fully.
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby smiileyjen101 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:29 am

To the European, it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered, to 'be happy'. But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to 'be happy'. Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically. As we see, a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy, last but not least, through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a given situation."
V.Frankl

If one could take this 'idea' would it make more sense of the pursuit of happiness (as a means to an end) not achieving the goal? And those that 'failed' to find meaning in the things that are espoused (marketed with great force) to create happiness feeling like failures, being held up as failures, being marginalised and 'treated' for their failure to 'be happy' because they find no meaning in the things being held up as the source of happiness?

Kathleen said: We honor people who have done heroic deeds, with things like the Nobel Peace Prize, or in the US the Congressional Medal of Honor, because we want to build a society in which people act honorably. Through creating models of heroism we encourage people to manifest that in their lives.

Where there is celebration of perceptions of 'honor', there is also condemnation of perceptions of 'dishonor' - one man's hero being another man's terrorist. Is this also just a distraction to reinforce cultural ideas, values? I look at the Talib 'celebrating' that their 'enemy' did not win the Nobel Peace Prize, and 'supporters' devastated that she didn't and who feel she was 'cheated'.

I just have to stand back and wonder - what does she make of both sides of that commotion? What 'meaning' does it have compared to those ideas that she has about freedom of education? Does it matter to the girl child in Afghanistan?
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby KathleenBrugger » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:35 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote:
To the European, it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered, to 'be happy'. But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to 'be happy'. Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically. As we see, a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy, last but not least, through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a given situation."
V.Frankl


Interesting that you posted this Smileyjen. There is a widespread misconception about the meaning of "pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence. I didn't understand it until I read Time magazine's cover story on happiness last summer. One of the articles, “Free to be Happy,” asked the question, “What did Thomas Jefferson mean by ‘pursuit of happiness’ in the Declaration of Independence?”

I was surprised to read, “The idea of happiness…in Jefferson’s hands, may be better understood as the pursuit of individual excellence that shapes the life of a broader community.” Thomas Jefferson, I learned, was a fan of Greek philosophy, and “eudaimonia — the Greek word for happiness — evokes virtue, good conduct and generous citizenship.”

So the meaning of “happiness” in the Declaration of Independence means developing ourselves to our maximum capacity in order to contribute to society.

This is pretty much what I was trying to express with the idea of living a heroic life.

If you want to read more about this concept of happiness = individual excellence, I did a little online research to find some other sources and wrote a blog post about it:
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-pursuit-of-individual-excellence.html
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby treasuretheday » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:25 am

That brought tears to my eyes, Kathleen. I love TJ! In fact, he and I have a little 'thang' going. Here's a pic to prove it!

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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:39 am

Thanks for pointing me to that article and your blog Kathleen. For me Frankl was saying much the same thing as you did in your blog...

Maybe the reason we’re so unhappy is because we profoundly misunderstand the meaning of happiness. Too many of us confuse it with money and material possessions.


The confusion is not an accident, it's crafted and permeated throughout the society, and the culture, and spread throughout the world in cultural and economic influence. When discussing the high levels of discontent and depression in America Frankl mentioned his huge desire to balance the worshipping of Freedom, with responsibility. He wanted to build the Statue of Responsibility and place it on the opposite coast to the Statue of Liberty. He talked about this not as in espousing what others should be responsible for - but for folks being aware of what they, and others, are response able to...
The Freedom thing has also gotten a little confusing, like the responsible for (externally imposed), response able to.. (internally realised). There is freedom to.. and freedom from...
The stunning impacts of this was brought home to me in the Margaret Atwood novel A Hand Maid's tale.

So if we take the education for girls issue - on one side we have those advocating imposed 'freedom to' be formally educated within the value system of whichever custom;
and on the other side we have those advocating imposed 'freedom from' being formally educated within the value system of whichever custom. Neither side is taking into account the individual response ability of those that they are arguing and fighting for collectively.

If we look at any crime & punishment issue we have notions on both sides of freedom to and freedom from and externally imposed notions of responsibility (for whichever 'right' action a culture supports), and possibly less awareness of response ability internally able to be realised. (eg a sadist has no capacity / ability for empathy in the way that our values would like - arguing with this reality is just plain ridiculous, and yet we do it.)

In those feeling unable to cope with life's stresses - depression merely means 'world weary', it comes from the German word worldschmirtz, the see sawing is trying to balance their freedom from suffering that is debilitating, and freedom to suffer that will allow or create change, growth; and the sense of externally espoused responsibility weighing on them about how they 'should' feel, how they 'should' cope, and what they 'should' do etc, whereas the suffering is in the distance between this and their actual ability to respond - be that from situational, chemical, clinical, physical, emotional, spiritual, environmental or any other 'imbalance' that they are experiencing.

As Frankl says, once or if you find meaning in the suffering, the suffering becomes bearable and less all consuming.

Harmony requires balance, and imbalance or over-emphasis on one side of anything create the see-sawing of perspectives and experiences rather than the awareness of the whole issue.

The term 'collateral damage' comes to mind - the sacrifice we are prepared to make of others in order to achieve our 'higher' aims for the 'greater good' leave many floundering unable to bear the burdens and expectations of our societies and becoming world weary. The notion of 'greater good' is also where things get a bit tricky though, where hero/villain/victim gets messy; and where one man's freedom fighter becomes another man's terrorist in the struggles of ideological & different cultural values.

I also wrote about my notion of heroes & happiness in this experiential blog entry.. http://smileyjen101.blogspot.com.au/201 ... -life.html
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby SandyJoy » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:50 am

Well, just stopped by and found all this. I love Thomas Jefferson too!

Cute photo Treasure! You and T.J. Nice!!

Yes, Individual excellence! That's it, and I was just writing (ranting?) about this on another thread here, about having no name.

I Must say, my gut, my heart, my soul is is In Love with this:

KathleenBrugger wrote:There is a widespread misconception about the meaning of "pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence. I didn't understand it until I read Time magazine's cover story on happiness last summer. One of the articles, “Free to be Happy,” asked the question, “What did Thomas Jefferson mean by ‘pursuit of happiness’ in the Declaration of Independence?”

I was surprised to read, “The idea of happiness…in Jefferson’s hands, may be better understood as the pursuit of individual excellence that shapes the life of a broader community.” Thomas Jefferson, I learned, was a fan of Greek philosophy, and “eudaimonia — the Greek word for happiness — evokes virtue, good conduct and generous citizenship.”

So the meaning of “happiness” in the Declaration of Independence means developing ourselves to our maximum capacity in order to contribute to society.

This is pretty much what I was trying to express with the idea of living a heroic life.


Thank you so much for posting that, the brilliance of our American Constitution is really glorious. It is Enlightened in the Truest sense.
You are not finished, until you play in that meadow and live there. You can, you know. But only you can take yourself there.
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby KathleenBrugger » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:14 am

treasuretheday wrote:That brought tears to my eyes, Kathleen. I love TJ! In fact, he and I have a little 'thang' going.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words. Love your photo treasuretheday! TJ was awesome, I am also a great fan!!

I'll check out your blogpost tomorrow, Smileyjen.
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby KathleenBrugger » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:15 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote:I also wrote about my notion of heroes & happiness in this experiential blog entry.. http://smileyjen101.blogspot.com.au/201 ... -life.html

Great story Smileyjen! You might say that with (almost) everybody you met you helped them to express their individual excellence. Who knows how that security guard left holding the tape might have questioned himself later...what might i have done?

I have thought of having as a goal: in every interaction with people in the world, no matter how small or trivial, reach for that human connection. Not saying I do this, but I'm glad you've brought this goal back into my mind.
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Re: Wondering if I can get input on an article about depress

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:56 pm

Great story Smileyjen! You might say that with (almost) everybody you met you helped them to express their individual excellence. Who knows how that security guard left holding the tape might have questioned himself later...what might i have done?

Thanks Kathleen,it's interesting, because I was so intensely aware and in the moment/s in acceptance, enjoyment, enthusiasm - because I love awarely 'playing' with that too and noticing opportunities where 'we' could choose to make enemy, obstacle, means to an end of of people, things, or situations - the whole experience widens out in acceptance.

The security guard had literally 'no idea what was going on' on any other level / layer beyond his job description and sense of responsibility within his response ability, and that's okay too. He likely wouldn't have given it another thought, he was so turned down and tuned off to individual choices, robotic in obedient response to 'orders' of what he should do, to keep the majority 'safe', and he did that perfectly. He believes, and is given the encouragement to believe, that he is a hero every moment of every day, keeping people 'in line' and 'safe'.

I don't / didn't have a problem with this, my tongue in cheek humour was just playing with the notions that I was 'out of line' in comparison to the societal constructs of responsibility, fear and imposing order etc - in that situation all I can do is accept, his capacity, his response. And in fairness, in his role where he is using his physical bulk & that pathetically flimsy 'strappy thingy' to 'control' people and situations - that's his 'role', and he did it well. Most people do not even need instruction to 'stay within the lines' of it, they do it unconsciously.

The one that I 'felt' would question herself more, and in some ways I feel a little guilty for her likely angst, was the youngish company-girl at the gate. She truly believed in her 'role', it gave her a sense of security and rightness - as in the company is right, and in following their rules, she can feel right and secure - and I gave her an opportunity that probably would have put her in a sweat once she stopped to review it against the protocols that she previously believed in. In make believe scenarios that she has trained for, the situation, my last minute seemingly 'harmless', outside of protocol request actually did leave everyone open to the possibility that I was not the sincere, accidental, love-filled, harmless person. In that scenario, my pack likely did not go through the 'security' scanning that everyone has come to believe makes them 'safe' when flying. :shock:

Who then would have been the heroes and who the villains?

In a 'chain of command' society based on fear and addressing fears, we believe we are doing the right thing, within our capacity, awareness and knowledge towards a means to an end - in this case 'safety'. That it's all smoke and mirrors and by whose perspective of control, is the delusion that we do not consider.

I realised, by feeling the wolves of love and fear rising within her once her decision had been implemented, that young lady would have gone through a crisis of faith, in her self, in the power of her free will choice that she made in love, in the systems, in the wider scheme of 'safety' being an illusion - whether she stayed open in love, or closed down even tighter in fear to the 'company line'... only she can decide, within her awareness, capacity and willingness. The deciding factor will be which 'wolf' she feeds.

In some ways, and I know this is round about - this is what occurs with depression, this crisis of faith that occurs when one has an opportunity to face that which is real, once the illusions that we once believed are shown to have no real basis.

Yes there is 'fright', yes there is 'panic' and then there is either choosing love - gratitude and generosity and going down the path of accepting that which is, not that which is imagined, or outside of this moment, just is right now; and that can feel incredibly scary if one is used to a sense of 'control';

or fear -making enemy, obstacle, means to an end of people, things and situations and creating a sense of everything being out of control being the problem - when in reality 'control' is the society-in-fear constructed illusion in the first place.


I have thought of having as a goal: in every interaction with people in the world, no matter how small or trivial, reach for that human connection. Not saying I do this, but I'm glad you've brought this goal back into my mind.

:D Hold onto your hat!! There's a lot of 'pee tingly' feeling and crisis of faith opportunities when one does. But yes, it cracks the world open in love when we do.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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